The global order is being increasingly challenged with little or no regard to rules and India must reassess its strategic priorities and realign its actions to ensure that it is not left behind, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said on Friday.
Listing various national security challenges, the Chief of Air Staff also said military strategists must not lose sight of the primary objective of “war-fighting”.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari’s comments at a seminar came in the backdrop of India’s lingering border row with China in eastern Ladakh, the situation in Afghanistan and the geopolitical upheavals triggered by the crisis in Ukraine.
Without naming any country, he said “coercion” is the new strategy with cyber, information and space domains becoming the “new battlefield”.
“Today, we are witnessing a rapidly evolving international order that is increasingly being challenged by a complex multipolar world with little or no regard to rules or to the traditional processes of geopolitical interplays,” he said.
The Air Chief Marshal said diplomacy, economy and information are becoming the “primary tools” of engagement with the military instrument being used as a deterrent.
“Coercion is the new strategy with cyber, information and space domains becoming the new battlefield. Therefore, we must reassess our strategic priorities and realign our actions to ensure we don’t get left behind,” he said.
The seminar marked the culmination of the first ‘Warfare and Aerospace Strategy Programme’ (WASP), which was conducted by the Indian Air Force. The WASP was rolled out with an aim to generate strategic thought and understanding amongst the mid-career air power practitioners.
The Chief of Air Staff hoped that the programme will enable officers to understand the whole-of-government approach and generate independent opinions in dealing with national security issues.
“We believe that such cross-pollination of ideas from multiple disciplines can lead to critical thinking which allows a person to formulate solutions as well as take more rational and effective decisions,” he said.
“At the same time, a military strategist must not lose sight of the primary objective and that is war fighting. Hence our focus should remain on operational level critical thinking and strategy while developing a deeper understanding of the art and science of war fighting,” he added.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary told the participants of the programme that a well-crafted strategy may not guarantee success in dealing with security challenges, but the absence of a coherent and sustainable strategy will surely lead to failure.
The discussions revolved around assessing the role of air power in the ongoing Ukraine conflict and revisiting the doctrinal and strategic precepts about India’s air power capability.